Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Abstract

Control of the red imported fire ant (Solenopsis invicta).

Abstract

The red imported fire ant (Solenopsis invicta) was listed at the beginning of 2005 as one of the harmful organisms for quarantine by the Ministry of Agriculture of China. At present, red imported fire ants have been found only in limited areas in China, including Taiwan, Hong Kong, Macao, Wuchuan (Guangdong Province), Zhangjiagang (Jiangsu Province), Nanning and Luchuan (Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region) and Zhangjiajie (Hunan Province). However, it has been estimated that most areas of China would be suitable for fire ants to spread. The main chemical control methods are fumigation of the possible transmission media (e.g. soil, plants, containers and logs) and mound treatments supplemented with ant baits. For biological control, fungal (Thelohania solenopsae, Mattesia sp. and Beauveria bassiana), parasitic (Pseudacteon curvatus), protozoan (Vairimorpha invictae) and viral pathogens have also been identified in association with fire ants. Viridiflorol from Melaleuca quinquenervia also showed effects on fire ants. Other methods, such as using hot or boiling water or liquid nitrogen all showed some effects in fire ant control. The main control strategies of China are to enhance the quarantine checks for imported goods, to closely monitor the appearances of fire ants and to spread widely the knowledge of red imported fire ants and their control methods.